Updated: Nov 17
The end of the 2023 IHSA fall sports season is near, with only two weekends of football left to play.
Last week, Morton volleyball tied for the best finish in program history with a fourth-place finish at state, while Washington and Normal Community advanced to the semifinal round in football. The state meet for girls swimming and diving also took place in Westmont last weekend, with multiple area swimmers finishing well.
The top performers from last week's action are nominees for our CSM Fall Athletes of the Week, presented by Jake Weston State Farm.
There are polls for both girls and boys athletes of the week, with information on each nominee below. Vote now and spread the word, voting closes at 12 PM on Friday!
Update: Tyla Mattson of Morton volleyball won CSM Girls Athlete of the Week with 38 percent of the vote total and Mar'Quan Gary won CSM Boys Athlete of the Week with 73 percent of the vote total. Voting ended at 12 p.m. Friday.
Girls Athlete of the Week nominees
Graci Junis, Morton volleyball
Junis left it all out on the court in her final high school volleyball games at state. The senior outside hitter went for 14 kills and 20 digs in Morton's 3-set loss to Chicago St. Ignatius in the Class 3A third place game. In the Potters' semifinal match against Wheaton St. Francis last Friday, Junis put up a team-high 10 kills, along with eight digs and an ace.
More on Morton volleyball: Morton volleyball’s state title aspirations end in narrowest of defeats
Amelia Heinze, Washington girls swim and dive
Washington's Heinze went home with four top-3 finishes in the Athletes with Disabilities races at the IHSA State meet, including state titles in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke. Heinze, who is legally blind, also took second in the 100-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard freestyle.
Allison Straub, Bloomington girls swim and dive
Straub ended a terrific senior season in the pool with a pair of top-12 finishes at state. The Purple Raider made it out of the prelims in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly, finishing 10th in the 200 IM with a time of 2:06.46 and 12th in the 100 fly thanks to an effort of 56.46.
Tyla Mattson, Morton volleyball
Mattson was an integral part of orchestrating the Potters' offense and keying the team's defense in their two matches at state. The senior setter posted a 22-assists, 14-dig double-double against Chicago St. Ignatius in the third-place game and had 20 assists with four digs in Morton's two-set semifinal loss to Wheaton St. Francis.
Why the Potters were so successful this year: Morton volleyball’s postseason run defined by a comeback year, a few falls and lots of fun
Boys Athlete of the Week nominees
Mar'Quan Gary, Normal Community football
Gary, a junior wide receiver and cornerback for the Ironmen, did a little bit of everything in Normal Community's 45-28 win over Glenbard East in the Class 7A quarterfinals. He ran four times for 45 yards, caught two passes for 32 yards and a touchdown and came away with two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. Normal Community travels to Downers Grove North for their semifinal game on Saturday.
Hunter Reed, Washington football
Don't tell Reed he's the second fiddle in Washington's backfield, the junior ran for a trio of touchdowns in the Panthers' 59-16 win over Glenwood. Reed found paydirt on runs of five yards, eight yards, and 26 yards and has found the end zone in each of Washington's three playoff games up to this point.
Cohen Alexander, Olympia football
Olympia fell to undefeated Roxana 56-30 in the Class 3A quarterfinals but the Spartans still made history as they reached the third round of the postseason for the second year in a row; the first time that the feat has been accomplished in Olympia football history. Alexander led the Spartans ground attack with an efficient 137 yards on eight carries and a touchdown.
Kainon McQueary, Washington football
McQueary led a Washington offense that bruised and battered Glenwood with long possessions in Saturday's 59-16 Panthers win. The senior running back ran 31 times for 229 yards and two touchdowns in Washington's victory and is up to 1,799 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground this season.